Renault is very much in the driving seat at Nissan these days, but it does mean that Nissan now has one of the best light commercial vehicle line-ups in the business thanks to rebadging.
First there was the Primastar (Trafic), then came the Kubistar (Kangoo) and last, but not least, we come to the Interstar (Master). In line with Renault and its Master (and Vauxhall with the Movano) Nissan has the updated version of its front-wheel drive Interstar to offer. Available at 2.8t, 3.3t or 3.5t, there are three wheelbases and roof heights to choose from with load space ranging from 8.0m3 to 13.9m3 and payloads from 1,043kg to 1,691kg. Combine this with a selection of three common rail turbodiesels and there should be a model to suit just about all requirements.
Three versions of the same 2.5-litre as found in the Primastar make up the engine choice; one producing 100 bhp, another at 120 bhp and the range-topper (replacing the old 3-litre) manages 150 bhp. All drive the front wheels via a manual six-speed gearbox The all-round disc brake set-up is well up to coping thanks to ABS being a standard fitment. One of the most impressive features of Interstar (and Master and Movano for that matter) is the low rear loading height; it’s just 537mm. Front-wheel drive really does have some advantages over rear-wheel drive.
The cab, which was heavily updated back in 2003 features a dash-mounted gearchange and multi-adjustable driver’s seat which makes it possible to find just the right driving position. Service intervals are set at 18,000/two years for the 1.9-litre and 25,000/two years for the rest.
Interstar was a joint Van of the Year winner back in 2004, along with Master and Movano, but the market has moved on a long way in the intervening years. It’s beginning to feel dated.